Syria Finishing Up Chemical Disarmament, West Opposes Plans to End Mission

West Envisions 'Monitors' as a Permanent Presence

Compared to nations like the United States, which formally signed the Chemical Weapons Convention and have then spent generations slowly reducing their arsenals, Syria has been remarkably quick. 86 percent of chemicals have been exported, by most recent estimates, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) sees the last of them gone by Sunday.

A job well done for the OPCW team, which can expect a hearty pat on the back and to issue a final report when the off-shore disincorporation finishes in June, according to Syria’s UN Ambassador.

Western officials aren’t on board with that, however, saying they want the OPCW monitors to stay in the country, apparently more or less forever, to investigate various other allegations of chemical usage in the ongoing Civil War.

US officials hit out at the OPCW, saying it would be “horrific” to end the mission amid reports of chlorine gas use, since they aren’t removing all chlorine from the country.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.